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Chairperson's Corner

News Direct – Number 54 | September 2006

Chairperson's Corner

by Van Beach

The Marketing and Distribution Section just celebrated its one-year re-birthday-a very exciting milestone, to be sure. I term it a "re-birth" as we are not really "new" but we did expand upon our Non-Traditional Marketing base into our current form.  Nonetheless, we are exhibiting some traits of a true one-year old (no drooling or diapers, thankfully).

  • We are experiencing tremendous growth. Membership is increasing and interest-from all parts of the world-has never been higher. As an example, we are working on creating a "sub-track" of the section to serve the rapidly growing Asian market.
  • We are eager and willing to try many new things. Our new newsletter format, in my opinion, is very cool. It would not surprise me if we start seeing other sections adopt a similar format (kudos to our editor, Steve Konnath). We are also working on a "product implementation" survey. While surveys certainly are not new, the close look at how insurance companies formulate product ideas, screen, implement and bring to market those product ideas, should provide fresh insights and perspectives into this challenging process.
  • We are getting a lot of attention. As mentioned above, interest in our section and the issues we tackle has never been higher. I think this bodes well for our profession as we take a more comprehensive approach to product design (more than just pricing). The increased visibility also showcases the value of our non-traditional heritage. For example, the iterative methodology for product development that is used by direct-writing companies (design, test, re-design, retest, etc.).
  • We are full of potential. I think this section is on a path to becoming one of the most dynamic and relevant sections of the SOA. I say this because I have had the chance to work with our council, meet many of our members, discuss our vision and am echoing the thoughts of all those I have come in contact with over the last year. Exciting times are ahead!

As part of the council that brought about the new focus and now as the first full-term Chair of the Marketing and Distribution Section, I am very proud and excited about the direction we have set, our current initiatives and our future. I'd now invite each of our members to spread the word about the re-birth of the Marketing and Distribution Section. Ask your colleagues to take a look-you never know what a one-year-old might do!